Linebacker Jimmie Gilbert came away from Colorado's win at Oregon on Sept. 24 disappointed with the pass rush he and the defense provided.
How did he respond on Saturday against Oregon State? The senior put together what he called the best game of his career.
"By far," he said after a 47-6 win against the Beavers. "I was able to do things that for the past three years I wasn't able to do."
Gilbert registered two sacks — the first multi-sack game of his career — and seven tackles. He was a key figure in CU's defense harassing Oregon State quarterbacks Darell Garretson and Conor Blount all day.
The Buffs had four sacks and forced the Beavers into several rushed throws. Garretson and Blount combined to complete just 13 of 32 passes for 100 yards and two interceptions.
"It was a point of emphasis all week," Gilbert said. "They have a very dynamic quarterback. He can kill you in the pocket and he's got some good feet, so one thing we really emphasized is just you have to get off the ball. That's the most important thing always. From that point, it's all want-to. Thanks to our fantastic coverage in the secondary, that gave the front four, front five a great time to get to the quarterback and make some plays."
With a strong pass rush and stellar pass coverage, the defense put together a dominating effort. It was the first time CU kept a conference opponent out of the end zone since a 34-0 win against Oklahoma State exactly 11 years earlier, on Oct. 1, 2005.
"You have to give a lot of credit to our D-line," safety Tedric Thompson said. "Every time (the Oregon State quarterbacks) stepped back, our D-line was in his face. It makes the linebackers' and the (defensive backs) covering job way easier."
Saturday's attendance was 46,839, making it the largest crowd in 20 games at Folsom Field since coach Mike MacIntyre came aboard in 2013.
"It's always fun to play in a packed stadium," receiver Shay Fields said. "That's what you want as a team, the fans behind you and the support. It just gives us that extra energy when we go out and play."
The last time the Buffs distributed more tickets was on Sept. 29, 2012, when UCLA came to town. Attendance was 46,893 that day.
Grinding it out
The Buffs finished with 247 yards on the ground, led by Phillip Lindsay (16 carries, 90 yards, one TD) and Kyle Evans (15 carries, 43 yards).
It was the CU run game that got the offense going. Evans had six consecutive carries to open the Buffs' second possession and that set up a 51-yard touchdown pass from Steven Montez to Shay Fields.
"The running game is extremely important for us to set up, because it allows us to be able to do some of our play-action passes and hit some stuff over the middle," MacIntyre said. "Once we get them running, we go so fast, (the opponent) gets tired. All of a sudden, they bust a coverage. Getting our running game going is critical for us."
The Buffs have averaged 257.3 rushing yards in their four wins this season, and they were held to just 64 yards in their only loss, at Michigan.
Oregon State head coach Gary Andersen had high praise for the Buffs and the rebuilding job that MacIntyre has done in Boulder.
"Coach Mac has battled his tail off," Andersen said. "In this profession, you see what he's gone through the past few years and they've done a nice job. That dude should be the coach here for a long, long time. Better strap him up to a big ol' contract, because he's a damn good football coach."
With interceptions by Rick Gamboa and Tedric Thompson, the Buffs extended their streak to 18 consecutive games with a forced turnover. It's the longest streak in the country. ... Oregon State's early 3-0 lead gave CU a first quarter deficit for the first time this season. CU responded with 20 straight points. The Buffs have outscored the opposition 85-17 in the first quarter this season. ... CU had no turnovers and yielded no sacks - just the 19th time since 1972 they've had that combination. The Buffs are 17-2 in those games. ... CU is 5-0 on the coin toss this season.